With Zappa Records’ and Universal Music’s campaign to reissue the Official Albums of Frank Zappa drawing to a close in December, there are still a few surprises up the Zappa Family Trust’s sleeves. In our newly-updated ongoing rundown of the main campaign, we have already reported on the reissue of the Mothers of Invention’s “greatest hits” Mothermania, originally released on Verve Records in 1969 and only now appearing on authorized CD. We’ve also passed on news of an all-new 2-CD FZ compilation, Understanding America, released to coincide with the recent election. But that’s not all. While we wait for the final batches of the core reissues to arrive in November and December, Zappa Records has announced the beginning of a new series.
The official Barfko-Swill store is currently accepting orders for the first volume of Road Tapes, which appears to be a series of live concerts in the style of Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks or certain volumes of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series or the Elvis Presley Follow that Dream series. Volume 1 of Road Tapes takes listeners all the way back to August 25, 1968 at Vancouver’s Kerrisdale Arena. Very little is known about this show, as Zappa is keeping details (as usual) close to the vest until the actual release and the show appears to be uncirculated in collectors’ circles. What can be gleaned from other sources, however, is that the band likely consisted of Zappa, Ray Collins, Roy Estrada, Jimmy Carl Black, Art Tripp, Ian Underwood, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, and Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood. Chronologically in the Zappa studio discography, this gig falls between the release of We’re Only In It for the Money (released March 4, 1968) and that of Cruising with Ruben and the Jets (released December 2, 1968).
There’s more after the jump!
As of this writing, it’s uncertain whether the Road Tapes series will be made available to general retail, or will remain an exclusive at Barfko-Swill, where Volume 1 is currently selling for $15.00 plus shipping. Gail Zappa has recently confirmed in the “Gail Sez” area of Zappa.com that many options are still being pursued for the Zappa catalogue. In answer to Don Firth’s question about Mothermania, Gail replied:
“Yes. We know. And that album is coming out shortly. My first obligation was to rerelease the Original Masters in distribution with Warners. But that does not change the Original Official Discography that has always been up at Zappa.com. My next obligation was to reMaster [sic] titles that were in critical condition. There are 22 of those at this time. The rest we may address as we consider HD & vinyl. In some cases, you never know, there may be 2 versions out there. But all of the information you are looking for is at zappa.com.”
Stay tuned, friends. In the meantime, Road Tapes Volume 1: 25 August 1968, Kerrisdale Arena, Vancouver, B.C. is available now for order.’
Road Tapes Volume 1: 25 August 1968, Kerrisdale Arena, Vancouver, B.C. (Zappa Records, 2012)
- The Importance Of An Earnest Attempt (By Hand) (3:44)
- Help, I’m A Rock into
- Transylvania Boogie (9:30)
- Flopsmash Musics (4:50)
- Hungry Freaks, Daddy (3:59)
- The Orange County Lumber Truck (20:57)
- The Rewards Of A Career In Music (3:29)
- Trouble Every Day (5:08)
- Shortly: Suite Exists Of Holiday In Berlin Full Blown (9:29)
- Pound For A Brown (3:13)
- Sleeping In A Jar (3:23)
- Oh, In The Sky (2:42)
- Octandre (7:40)
- King Kong (10:17)